This is the first savoury-based juice to appear on Juice Nation. It’s not the first one that we’ve tried in the juice lab, by any means. In an early juice experiment  we dropped an onion onto the blades of a centrifugal juicer, the result, one of the most intense liquids we’ve come across. We imagined several uses for pure raw onion juice, but have not tested any of them. It wouldn’t be surprising if it could be used as some kind of futuristic fuel. This recipe contains no onions but the base ingredients are more commonly used in salads than drinks.

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An apricot and a plum

August 20, 2012

The juicer had been primed for a savoury voyage (recipe to follow, soon). As we removed the bag of fruit and veg from the fridge and opened it to the warm morning, a taut-skinned nectarine rolled over to protect the plum, heavy with sugary ripeness. The pair suggested themselves as a sugary starter and contrast to the savoury, potentially disgusting, follow-up.

The fruit were quite big, together they were cut up into pieces. The plums were particularily delicious, aged purple grape skin covering soft, pond lichen green flesh.

150ml of juice was extracted from the fruits shown. The pulp mix that was pushed out of the nozzle of our juicer was so rich and tasty we stirred a bit into the juice for a ‘with bits’ effect, before running the rest through the grinder again. The mixed juice was ultrasweet, a silky sugar rush that kept the rich and distinct flavours of the fruit in their prime. This satisfying juice would work well diluted, particularly with sparkling water, to stretch out the refreshment.

While Juice Nation’s London Embassy is a perfect place to catch the summer rays of summer sun, this year, like many others, there has mainly been rain. Olympic London is an exhausted, overstretched, paranoid and angry sponge. A sponge filled to capacity with rain, sweat and grey, sludgy muck. We’ve all got a duty to try to squeeze something out of that sponge, even if it’s just the bits around us, so we don’t get too wet. Today, our method of doing this was to experiment with a juice compound we hadn’t tried before, Peach AND Apricot (PANDA). We got the raw ingredients from a local Turkish supermarket, just under £2 for 500g of Paraguyan flat peaches and 500g of Spanish apricots, both were graded class 2 quality and looked and tasted decent.

The flat peaches, a stunted, almost mushroom-like in appearance, variety we haven’t seen in the UK before, were at the earliest stage of ripeness. The standard apricots at their latest, so juicy the stones could be squeezed out by pinching the fruit with thumb and forefinger. The main sweetness in the juice came from the pulpy apricots with the peaches adding a sweet/savoury accent. Five flat peaches and nine apricots were juiced through the JN masticating juicer. The juice wasn’t filtered and the ripeness of the apricots gave a very pulpy juice, we got approx 400ml.

The first flavour that came to mind on tasting the fresh juice was carrot, perhaps the influence of the colour a deep, vibrant orange, but the juice had an earthy sweetness. There was also an echo of pineapple, a piña colada flashback. The peach flavour stood out well within the apricot sweetness and the combination is distinct. To further dabble with this batch, we diluted the 300ml juice with 250ml of water, this made the compound more drinkable, there was still a full flavour. The juice of half a lime put an accent on the sweetness, as well as heightening the distant neon of the half-forgotten cocktail bar. A dash of imported Jamaican over-proof rum created an interesting but far from perfect juice cocktail. The super-sweet, pungeunt spirit almost sat a bit awkwardly with the juice drink, getting on, but only just. After this test juice we plan to try the PANDA compound with both carrot and pineapple juice, as well as maybe some coconut milk and some rum.

Evening draws in on the last day before a summer starts, it’s a good time for a stiff drink. The only readymade mixers available are a really nasty, sweetener infused, Polish budget juicedrink-like drink and a month old cranberry juice drink. Thoughts turned to juicing, thoughts were tired so they turned to easy jucing. This, first, JN cocktail recipe is as simple as can be and as good as it gets for hard-chill in the evening sun.

I used 2 x medium sized, rough looking, lemons and 2 x tsp fine sugar and some London tap water and four good splashes of vodka from the freezer to make two stiff drinks.

The lemons were juiced with a classic plastic manual citrus press and added to glasses containing the vodka. Water was added to dilute the mixture 50:50. Two teaspoons of sugar per glass, stirred in, ice would have been nice.

Strawberries are summer, swollen by warm showers, deep red bulbs suspended close to the soil. The true strawberry season runs from June to August and although most supermarkets sell only one, commercially optimised, variety if you search a bit wider you’ll find a wide range of the beautifully aromatic, carnal berries. For a fine morning juice we combined a dozen delicious strawberries with four class II clementines. The soft warm sweetness of the berries blended with the cheap, imported, clementine’s tarty sweetness to create a subtly fresh and light juice with the colours of a summer sunset.

12 Strawberries
4 Clementines
Put through Matstone single-auger masticating juicer

The raw ingredients

Around 350ml of juice was produced

Juicing Ghana

July 27, 2010

One person is at the  top of the Juice Nation Tree of Knowledge. A juice trailblazer and an incredibly juicewise man, The Juice Father passed his skills on to his son who then shared the love. This sharing led to a desire to share further, it led to Juice Nation. In the spirit of sharing, Juice Nation officer and musical powerhouse Luke Sanger, has sent us a series of photos documenting a typical morning’s juicing in Accora.

A pineapple moment

Visiting ‘the juice father’ in Ghana this summer, I got schooled in the art of juicing on the equator.

We blended lots of different fruit and veg (including cabbage!) it was a mix of things from the garden (like lemons and oranges, which are green skinned not orange) and bought things like ginger and beetroot. I was surprised beetroot grew there, being from Norfolk which is prime beetroot real estate, it couldn’t have been in more different climate/growing conditions!

Everything was chopped small and fed into the Green Power Kempo juicer aka ‘The Hippocrates Juicer‘.

What you can see in the pictures made enough juice for 4 people, for 2 days breakfast.

Prepared for the juicer
Jamestown fruit sellers

Market fresh from Jamestown

a juicemaster in his element

The blend

Fresh fruit

Fresh fruit, separated. Amazing colours all round!

Breakfast juice for four

Given Juice Nation’s stance on medical claims I hesitated on submitting this juicer adapted version of a traditional and internationally renowned homely remedy. It’s been approved on the grounds that it makes no claim to healthiness and any relief of the discomfort of a mild cold can be explained as the result of drinking a tasty drink.

1/3 lemon (waxed or unwaxed depending on taste & budget)
Chunk of ginger root from the size of half a thumb to a whole thumb
Plenty of honey

Process the lemon and ginger in a juicer. I always leave the peel on the lemon, whether it’s waxed or not but some may be scared of the bitterness (offset by the honey anyway). Combine the juice and very hot milk, too hot to drink in more than sips, in a mug. I usually microwave milk to make it warm, saves on washing up pans and transferring hot liquids. Add honey until you like the taste of the concoction. If you think it would make you feel better, you can add some kind of alcoholic drink (say brandy or whiskey) to the drink or some spices to the milk before heating.


The Beetgrapple

November 16, 2009

2 fresh beetroots
2 big handfulls of white grapes
3 braeburn apples
(made enough juice for one, greedy, person or two people)

The undiluted juice of the Beetroot makes for a powerful tasting purple potion, interesting if not entirely pleasant in flavour. As a young juice disciple this juice made me cough on more than one occasion and felt a bit like ground glass going down my throat. I was intrigued by this potent nectar that stains kitchen units and bodily fluids alike, but it was some time before I dared experiment further.

Emboldended by intervening years of  voyages on the seas of juice I returned to the beetroot. I found that the key to keeping its harsh side under control was to contrast it’s thick, almost bitter juice with a light and sweet one. In this recipe the white grapes act as a foil to the beetroot, their strong sweetness cancels out the roughness of the beetroot, allowing both ingredients unique flavours and powers to be savoured. This alchemical interaction takes place in the context of apple, a classic juice base that subtly complements the beetroot and grape extremes.